The Ultimate DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner


If you’ve read any of my foundation hunt reviews (like this one here), then you can probably guess that I love playing around with makeup. Playing with and trying out makeup is truly one of my favourite things to do. And being the adventurer that I am, a big part of my makeup journey is experimenting.

Trying new products; trying to master new techniques; mixing and blending the myriad of colours that seem to pop up every time I scour the internet. From swatching videos to wear tests; to trying to finally get the perfect winged liner (I will not yield until I’ve got it); spending time around and using makeup takes up a pretty good deal of my time. To tell the truth, I’m pretty much just trying to find new ways to SLAY on a daily basis.

However, what I really don’t find so fun is the aftermath and clean up. Since I find this to be a safe space, I’ll admit that sometimes my makeup adventures get pretty messy. And the clean up afterwards can seem almost like a battlefield. Setting powder everywhere. Lipsticks tossed all over the place. Eyeshadow palettes opened a plenty while trying to find those perfect colour combos. Yikes! We’ve got our work cut out for us with this one.

But you know the most excruciating part of the cleaning process? When it comes time to clean those makeup brushes. What a time suck that is. A necessary time-consuming evil, cleaning your makeup brushes is an important part of any makeup lovers’ routine. Dirty makeup brushes are just a big NO NO!!!!


BUT LET’S FACE IT…….. We don’t exactly clean our makeup brushes as often as we should!!!


Honestly, I don't clean my makeup brushes nearly as often I should simply because I don’t like doing it. Like I said before, it’s really time-consuming. It takes up so much time that I could be spending doing so many other things. Like reading a good book, taking a random road trip, snagging some amazing product deals, catching up on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy or even going to take a light jog around the neighbourhood. All of which are so much more pleasurable than cleaning makeup brushes. So I tend to put cleaning my brushes off for as long as possible.

Yes, my dirty little secret is out and I can’t deny that many a days I skip cleaning my makeup brushes one too many times. Because it’s such a completely mundane task, that most of us dread having to do it!!! Yet, it’s oh so important. Oh how small things have big impacts.

Cleaning brushes regularly removes makeup, dirt, oil and those ever yucky bacteria that build up on the bristles over time. These can clog your pores and result in breakouts. And I’m pretty sure none of us want to see those nasty pimples pop up just because we were too lazy to clean our makeup brushes.

Plus cleaning brushes regularly makes them last longer while helping our makeup to look cleaner and fresher when it’s applied. The buildup that gathers on dirty makeup brushes causes them to deteriorate quicker, affecting makeup application. There just really isn’t any substitute for cleaning your makeup brushes.

So have I convinced you yet to clean your makeup brushes? Are you finally ready to take the leap and clean those brushes now?!…….. Great!!!

Fortunately, cleaning your makeup brushes doesn’t have to break the bank. There’s absolutely no need for those expensive makeup cleansers that we see advertised on every beauty site ever.

Look no further than around your own house for an efficient and cost-effective makeup brush cleaner. It’s fast, easy and only contains 2 ingredients, so even the busiest of moguls can keep their brushes squeaky clean. So let’s get started shall we.

the ultimate DIY makeup brush cleaner

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Olive oil (or another oil like sweet almond oil)

  • Antibacterial soap or a soap like Dr. Bronners Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

  • A small dish or bowl in which to mix both ingredients

  • Paper towels or tissue paper

Now let’s get down to business (to defeat the Hans): 

  1. In the small dish or bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the antibacterial soap with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. The olive oil is used to help condition the brush bristles, keeping them nice and soft. Using only soap could be a little harsh and dry them out over time.

  2. Next, wet your brushes slightly (preferably with lukewarm water), then dip your brushes in the mixture one by one, coating each one thoroughly with the mixture.

  3. Twist and dab them around in the solution, scrubbing all your makeup troubles away. You can also rub the bristles between my fingertips or on another dish to remove debris that may be still trapped in the bristles.

  4. Then, run the brushes under water thoroughly until no soap residue remains. Following this, blot them in tissue paper or paper towel to dry out as much of the excess water as possible. Repeat the cleaning process if makeup residue still appears.

  5. Once clean, hang the brushes with the bristles facing down to dry. This helps to preserve the bristles and the makeup brush as a whole, as it prevents water from running back into the brush handle and loosening the glue that keeps the bristles together. Personally, I have a brush stand to dry my brushes but I’ve seen people hang brushes on hangers using clothes pins or binder clips to keep the brushes in place. The drying process can take up to 24 hours.

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Now that we’ve gotten our brushes all squeaky clean. The question still remains as to how often should you clean your brushes:

There’s a good amount of conversation as to how frequently to clean your makeup brushes. I’ve seen a lot of different recommendations and opinions as to the frequency of cleaning makeup brushes. With some recommending as often as after every use to as infrequently as once a month. Some makeup artists even separate the time frame based on the time of brushes. Such as twice a month for the brushes that are used around the eyes versus cleaning once a month for those used on the face.

While I do think how often you wash your brushes should be based on how often you use them and how much product is used, I think a safe time frame of every 2 weeks to at least once a month is a good choice for effective cleaning of your makeup brushes.

Now go ahead and give your brushes the much needed TLC they deserve. Your skin and your brushes will thank you!!! Happy cleaning!!!

So how about you? Have you cleaned your makeup brushes recently? Do you clean your makeup brushes regularly? Have any more killer DIYS or beauty tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment or 2 down below. I love hearing from you!

Ta Ta Until next time.







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